Winnipeg’s only unvaccinated councillor has caught COVID-19, but Vivian Santos argues vitamins have kept her symptoms mild.

Winnipeg’s only unvaccinated councillor has caught COVID-19, but Vivian Santos argues vitamins have kept her symptoms mild.

"I do not have the time to be sick and will not let this virus get the best of me," the Point Douglas councillor posted on social media Thursday, with a photo of a positive rapid antigen test taken that day.

Santos said she felt light-headed, with a dry cough, a runny nose and chills.

"I’d like to attribute my mild symptoms to the fact that I have good metabolic health," she wrote, citing exercise, sleep and numerous vitamins.

Her children are staying home with her this week, she said.

"I am still able to work, cook and clean. I was a bit disappointed in catching it, however I am glad to get it over with, as science has shown that I will have natural immunity."

Experts say natural immunity kicks in as symptoms abate, but not for as many as one-third of recovered people who can still catch COVID-19 again as they have less protection than what a full course of vaccines provide.

Santos’ Instagram account stopped allowing comments on the post after multiple comments about alternative health treatments.

In a July 2021 survey by the Free Press, Santos was the lone councillor among Winnipeg’s 15 to not be vaccinated, citing an unspecified medical reason.

A month later, she opted against recommending vaccines, instead urging her constituents "to get all the information, as much as possible, so that they can make an informed decision."

Last September, Mayor Brian Bowman dropped Santos from her role as acting deputy mayor, saying a fully immunized colleague was a better fit to help convince Winnipeggers to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

The overwhelming majority of medical experts say vaccines prevent severe outcomes from COVID-19, and that vaccinated people who get infected shed much lower amounts of the coronavirus to others.

dylan.robertson@freepress.mb.ca

Dylan Robertson

Dylan Robertson
Parliamentary bureau chief

In Ottawa, Dylan enjoys snooping through freedom-of-information requests and asking politicians: "What about Manitoba?"